Ideally mothers should breastfeed their children for the first six months of life, but only a negligible percentage of mothers persist for that duration.
Northern Ireland has both the lowest initial take up of breastfeeding and the poorest duration. According to the Infant Breastfeeding Survey 2005 63% of Northern Ireland mothers began breastfeeding in hospital, compared to 78% in England, 70% in Scotland and 67% in Wales.
At six weeks the rate of exclusive breastfeeding was 22% in England compared to 13% in Northern Ireland. At four months the Northern Ireland rate had fallen to 4% compared to 8% in England.
However a clinical trial of the programme devised by Ulster researchers – called Designer Breastfeeding - showed that dramatic improvements are possible.
A total of 144 women who had their first baby took part in the trial at the Ulster Hospital maternity unit. They were split into two groups – one taking part in the Designer Breastfeeding programme and the other using the normal support services of the “Baby-Friendly” maternity unit.
The results showed that 82% of those taking part in the new programme began breastfeeding, compared to 70% in the other group. On discharge from hospital 64% of those on the programme were still breastfeeding exclusively compared to 44% in the other group and at three weeks the figures were 53% and 20% respectively.
The Designer Breastfeeding programme – which was devised after five years of research funded by the Northern Ireland Research and Development Office – consists of four parts:A breastfeeding book covering all aspects of breastfeeding instruction.
Researcher Professor Marlene Sinclair, Professor of Midwifery Research at Ulster, said: “Designer Breastfeeding is an unique, home-grown breastfeeding programme that closes the gap between what women want to know about breastfeeding and what health professionals think they need to know.
"Using existing NHS structures, Designer Breastfeeding takes a 360 degree approach to increasing women’s commitment to breastfeeding by providing them with what they need to take control over their individual experience”.
She pointed out that while the percentage of mothers who begin breastfeeding in hospital continues to rise, around a fifth will stop breastfeeding before they leave hospital.
Professor Sinclair added: “We know the preventative health benefits of breastfeeding are dose-related and the longer a mother breastfeeds, the better it is for her health and the health of her baby. Therefore, helping women find the motivation to breastfeeding has immense potential for health gains that will directly impact on the mother and baby and, indirectly, on the overall health of the nation”.
“I have no doubt that we will see the further success of Designer Breastfeeding evidenced through visible reductions in the incidence of childhood infections, obesity, diabetes, eczema and asthma. It is a great pleasure to be recommending this home-grown research undertaken by a local midwife, Dr Janine Stockdale for dissemination and implementation.”
David Young | alfa
Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg
New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences